Have you ever found yourself scrolling through Facebook, looking for that post about that tool that sends you more leads? Who was that agent that recommended it? Or what about that really cool iPad app that makes it easier to create virtual tours? What was its name again?
We’ve all been there.
In a large Facebook group, one could easily spend an hour sifting through post after post, comment after comment, looking for that ONE piece of information – not a good use of a busy real estate agent’s time.
Enter Curaytor - a conversation search engine that curates the important discussions real estate agents are having on Facebook.
Co-founded by Chris Smith and Jimmy Mackin – two of real estate’s most popular conversation starters – Curaytor is crowdsourcing the strategies and tools that real estate agents use to improve their businesses. If you've ever wondered how top agents spend their marketing dollars or which iPad apps are most useful for signing contracts, Curaytor's users have the answers, and more.
Smith, Mackin and partner Andrew Leafe launched the startup at last year’s Inman News Real Estate Connect in New York City. Since then, nearly 10,000 users have signed on and generated more than 80,000 pieces of content. They’re thrilled with the response.
“The consumption of ideas across the network of real estate agents was outdated,” says Smith. Instead of reading blog posts or using Google, agents communicate in groups on Facebook. But only recent posts show up, which immediately eliminates a wealth of relevant information.
Leafe, an expert on Facebook OpenGraph and API integration, coded an algorithm that pulls in users’ posts from five Facebook Groups and displays them on a WordPress-hosted Website. That’s geek speak for: “We created one Website that acts as the Google search for Facebook,” explains Smith. And just like Google, the content is based on its subject matter and popularity. “It’s Facebook search optimization. It’s a complete game-changer,” he adds. (Watch the video for the full tour!)
Curaytor’s users can search by topic (Mobile), company (Zillow), source (Inman News) or by user (Chris Smith). They can also find topics that are popular or trending, the most recent or posts picked personally by the staff. “The more likes and comments a post receives, the more likely it will show up on Curaytor. We want to be sure only the best conversations are coming into the Website,” says Smith.
Each week, the most popular posts are hashed out on the “Water Cooler,” an iTunes video podcast featuring Smith and Mackin and agents who want to join the chatter. “It isn’t your regular talk show,” says Smith. “We bring the beers and the banter. It’s a lot of fun!” (FYI: Don’t bring your kids along for this after-hour real estate rodeo.)
Smith couldn’t be happier with the positive response from the real estate industry. At the same time, he’s quick to warn that without purpose the tool is just another time-suck. He encourages agents to log on and find answers to their real business problems.
“If there were zero additional ideas, innovations or strategies, there would already be enough technology to last us for the next 15 years. Right now, it’s TIME TO DO. It’s time to execute.”
Join Curaytor’s Facebook Groups.
- Evernote for Real Estate Group
- Raise the Bar in Real Estate Group
- Tech Support Group for Real Estate Agents
- Realtor iPhone and iPad Group
- What Should I Spend My Money On?
Watch Water Cooler, which ranked No. 1 on iTunes Business Video Podcasts list and has more than 50 five-star ratings.